Issho ni taberu

Issho in Japanese means ‘together’. I named the post ‘issho ni taberu’ which means ‘let’s eat together’.

We came here for dinner after an event at the Sports Hub. It was crowded but we were fortunate to get two seats at the sushi counter.

It was supposed to be a quick dinner before going home. We ended up ordering a little more than planned.

The genmaicha was really fragrant as it had roast grains in the tea.


Prawn tempura with rice.


One of their signature dishes – buta or pork shabu salad with goma or sesame seed dressing.


Ise Kushi set of ten grilled sticks as we were feeling rather peckish still.


Another signature dessert dish – Blacmange, black sesame panna cota with black sesame ice-cream. This was truly a piece of art.

All in all, we ordered three of their signature dishes. The food was fresh and of good quality, enough for me to enquire if they also serve omakase, to which they said, ‘Yes’. That will be for another time, hopefully when the place is not so crowded.

Issho Izakaya, 1 Stadium Place, #01-13/K5, Kallang Wave@Sports Hub. Tel: 6702 4708.

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Soup and rice

This was a Chinese eating place where the soup was part of a franchise chain that has been hugely successful. By 1pm on a Sunday afternoon, most of the soups had already been sold out. There were only two choices left and my friend ordered the pepper tripe soup. It tasted peppery alright and the soup portion was large. My friend ordered rice to go with the soup but there were not enough ingredients in the bowl to eat the rice with.

I ordered pork ribs rice on the other hand. The last time I had something like that was in Australia. It was okay. I’d probably return for the soup but the rice dish was not something to die for.

The Red Cafe, 491 River Valley Road, #01-17 Valley Point Shopping Centre. This cafe has taken over the Red Palms Cafe which I really liked.

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That’s pork intestines you are looking at, with bits of meat! The popular soups sell out rather quickly.

Pork ribs rice — it was alright for filing my stomach but not something I’d come back for.

Yong Tau Foo

This was a trip that resulted in a lot of self-discovery. Ampang Yong Tau Foo is something that I used to eat many years ago. It is tofu and fish paste stuffed into different vegetables, deep-fried and then served with yellow noodles or rice and sauce. I had actually forgotten the taste of this dish until I ordered it today. In Singapore, I have become so used to tofu which are cooked in soup and served as a soup as that is how I usually order my tofu, instead of deep-fried and served with sauce. But this dish has gained popularity and many travel to Ampang in Malaysia to eat this type of yong tau foo. Ampang is a place near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and this style of making and cooking tofu hails from there.

The fish paste was really authentic as one could taste the fish in it. The paste stuffed in all the vegetables had the same consistency. They were all really good. The deep fried wanton and tofu skin were nice and crispy. All this with rice, for $4.50. Actual Ampang Yong Tau Foo though has minced pork mixed in with the fish paste and are fried together.

There are two stalls here, right next to each other. One has a lot of certificates. The one I went to did not. Both are Hakka Ampang Yong Tau Foo. Apparently they are both related.

Hakka Ampang Yong Tau Foo, at 928 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 787121.

Their iced tea was good.

A dish of yong tau foo. There is watercress, tofu stuffed with fish paste, wanton and vegetables like brinjal and bittergourd stuffed with fish paste. Except for the ngo hiang which I didn’t really like, the rest were really good. No marks though for their presentation which was virtually non-existent. I should have rearranged the food before I took the picture. Oh well.

I took a picture of the stall as there were two and this was the one I went to — the one without the media and review accolades.

Battle of the fishes

We decided to come here for seafood. This is a Malaysian franchise chain of restaurants that is modelled after the Manhattan Fish Market for its fresh produce in days of old in the USA. Why a local chain (I consider Malaysian chains local as well) would model the freshness of its seafood after an American fish market that doesn’t seem to be in existence today beats me, but this chain of restaurants is priding itself on serving the best seafood in town — western type seafood, that is. The prices are affordable as a lighter portion of some food can be had for about $10. This place actually closely resembles another seafood restaurant which I have eaten at before but have not reviewed in a blog post yet. The food here was a lot better when it first opened. The food quality seemed to have dropped, probably because it got busy and food quality standards are not easy to maintain when one becomes popular and busy. To its credit, it has however revamped its menu and its marketing message seems to be more consistent and focused now, thus keeping itself in contention to be the best (western) seafood restaurant in town, if one can actually even be the best. Perhaps the pie is large enough for several restaurants such as these.

We ordered fried country mushrooms, grilled salmon fish and crispy whole barramundi. The mushrooms were fine and devoured in under a minute. We must have been hungry. The salmon was a little dry while the barramundi will speak for itself below.

Manhattan Fish Market, Junction 8, 9 Bishan Place, Junction 8 Shopping Centre, #01-22/30, Singapore 579837. Tel: +65 6352 4034

Grilled Salmon which was a little dry.

Fried Whole Barramundi with herb garlic sauce. Having just returned from Australia, I decided to try this fish which I tend to associate with Down Under. The fish was fine but the sauce was a little overpowering. I like garlic and I like butter and I like herbs. But the combination here was a little strange and lacking in enough authentic ingredients. The rice and vegetables were fine but the sauce kind of ruined the dish. If the sauce had had more authentic and natural ingredients in it, it would have been perfect.

Down Under: Quick ramen

This is a trend that I noticed in Sydney — places that serve quick and reasonably good Japanese food, without charging a lot for them. Up until now, I had only come across the places that served rice. But this place served ramen for less than AUD$5 for a simple bowl of ramen. I was surprised at the price. Located in the busy city area, this place was good for a cheap and quick meal.

The soup that the ramen were made in were known as ‘miso flavoured’ or ‘tonkotsu flavoured’. Basically, it was the miso or tonkotsu soup mixed with hot water and the ramen was then added in, along with the other ingredients. I was not used to ramen being cooked in this manner and doubted it would taste good, hence I did not try the ramen, which I regretted cos then I couldn’t review this eatery properly. I opted for something more authentic but cheap instead.

The rice I ordered was just nice as I wanted something light. A friend ordered iced milk matcha and that was pretty good too.

Tenkomori Ramen House, 501 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000.

Rice with fried pork and kimchi. The rice here is the long grain rice and not the calrose kind. This was pretty good and just nice for something light. AUD$3.50 per bowl.

Shop exterior

Tako balls

Soul food!

I was really wanting to eat rice for dinner and settled into this restaurant. Glancing through the menu, I noticed it serves mainly ramen. I ordered the sesame rice on the menu and asked them if they could prepare a corn salad for me, chargeable of course! The waitress checked with the kitchen and agreed. I expected a small bowl of salad. I was surprised by what I was served. I will definitely come back here for lunch or dinner again. The rice was simply delicious as they had mixed in the sesame seeds and oil into the rice itself, garnished with shallots. However, it did not taste oily.

The level of service here reminded me of the good service that I am more used to receiving in Japan. It was also late on a Sunday evening and they were not busy.

This place serves authentic ramen, hence, the review would not be complete if I did not try their ramen as well. So with a complimentary return voucher for a flavoured egg, I returned on another day to try their ramen. They were really busy on a Saturday night and my order got mixed up with someone else. I ordered the ‘light’ version for taste. I was not disappointed. The soup was good, the meat was just the right texture; not dry and hard like some other ramen places. With a generous helping of pickled bean sprouts and a dash of bonito flakes, I was satisfied with my ramen.

Soul food, indeed!

Keisuke Tokyo Ramen Dining, Millenia Walk #03-02, 9 Raffles Boulevard. Tel: 6337 7919.

(The restaurant is on the 3rd floor within Parco itself, where the other restaurants within Parco are situated.)

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